Next up in my popover tunic adventures is the Mila Shirt by Itch to Stitch. You can review my post about the muslins of all four patterns to see my progress to this point. I’m going in order of pattern label alphabetically and that’s how I will present the information in the final comparison post. I’ve already completed the Cheyenne Tunic by Hey June.
Pattern Details: The Mila Shirt is for women’s sizes 00 to 20, which covers 30″ to 49″ bust for cup sizes A through DD. There are separate upper bodice fronts for the different cup sizing, which really helps the Mila fit well right at the pattern assembly stage. I’ll talk more about that later. There’s just the one view as shown, with options for a collar, front pocket and sleeve tabs.
Looking back at my muslin, the Mila with the D-cup bodice front needed no adjustments. The choose-your-own cup sizing combined with the forward rotated shoulder and gathers completely addressed all the fitting issues for which I typically need to adjust.
Drafting: Kennis’ drafting is top-notch. All the markings are there, and she even goes what I’d call a step beyond by offering separate pattern pieces for the collar and undercollar so the collar lays nicely. Some patterns will give instructions to shift or trim the undercollar, but here the work has been done for you. I really like the way the tower placket is laid out – it made it much easier to get the centered alignment you see on my placket.
Also major props for the separate cup size upper bodice fronts. You select the cup size you need, and then as you assemble the pattern you attach the upper and lower front bodice together seamlessly. Many people are intimidated by a full bust adjustment, and this method takes all the guesswork out. There aren’t markings for the buttonholes/buttons on the placket. Instead the instructions are to make the center button at the fullest part of your bust, and space the other two centered 2.5″ above and below that. The grading is even, which means the steps between sizes are the same.
Sewing: In contrast to the Cheyenne, there are seams in the Mila which require finishing in some manner such as serging. The yoke is double layer and nicely enclosed with the burrito method, but sleeves and side seams are serged. The sleeves were set in and fit smoothly. I think I sewed this over three days, but I had some other things going on (like photographing and blogging the Cheyenne) so they weren’t continuous.
The tower placket is beautiful and I had zero problems sewing it. The sleeves are finished with a narrow continuous bound placket and cuff. The tutorial has clear technical drawings and a separate section with tips for sewing a narrow curved hem. There is not a sew along available for the Mila Shirt, but there are a few articles on the Itch to Stitch blog that would be helpful for sewing this garment, like a narrow curved hem tutorial, setting in sleeves, or sewing a sharp point like the collar.
My sleeves are a touch on the short side, and the cuff itself is a little narrow. This proportion probably looks great if you’re petite, but I’m not sure if I love it for my decidedly un-petite self. I don’t have particularly long arms and don’t usually have difficulty with sleeve length. The sleeves roll up easily and the tabs hold them in a good position just below my elbow.
In a similar note, the size and placement of the pocket seem off for me. There’s only one size pocket, and on Kennis who is petite it’s perfectly sized and placed. When I look at how the pocket placement markings are laid out, they’re set to be the same distance vertically from the attachment at the shoulder, which means they’re sort of moving upwards as the sizes get larger when compared to the bottom of the armscye. This isn’t a deal breaker – more just something to note if you’re on the larger end of the size range. I’ll either remove this pocket or make a new one and adjust the placement.
I had intended to sew the collar on this shirt. Since I’m making four shirts I figured I’d try to differentiate them where I could. But Friday night cutting party Jenn apparently decided not to walk on the wild side and I just carried on without it while sewing. Without the collar, the stand wants to stand up a touch strangely. This has relaxed as I’ve worn it today and I think it will get better with wear and washing.
I shared my progress on Instagram – my happy placket dance received lots of lovely comments. I think that post will end up a 2017 Top Ten.
I also took a poll on whether to use contrasting thread to sew the buttons. Pink was the winner, and I’m happy I went with that. It’s not overt and I like touches like this.
The Mila Shirt is definitely another pattern I’d recommended. I’d say in particular for petites and those that normally need a FBA. For those at the larger end of the pattern range just say pay attention to the proportions of the cuff and pocket and check the placement of the pocket.